Newcastle Island — Saysutshun
“A Gem in the Harbour”
Traditionally known as Saysutshun by the Snuneymuxw people, this marine provincial park is only accessible by foot passenger ferry or boat. Located within Nanaimo’s Harbour it is a breathtaking place with spectacular panoramic views of the Harbour City and Coast Mountains.
Spend an afternoon exploring beaches, hiking trails or viewing wildlife and complete your day with a nice meal or snack at the Q’uluc’tun Bistro located in the restored 1930’s dance pavilion.
Come experience Snuneymuxw’s culturally rich history. Saysutshun is a spiritual place to the Snuneymuxw people that held village sites and provided rich natural resources for countless generations.
A Marine Provincial Park since 1961 with a long history of Snuneymuxw presence, coal mining, sandstone quarries, herring fisheries and more, Newcastle Island is now managed by Snuneymuxw First Nation in partnership with BC Parks and the City of Nanaimo.
- Hike or Bike – on one of the many trails with panoramic views
- Kayak- around the Island but be sure to come enjoy the many amenities the Island has to offe
- Explore – tidal pools and beaches, forest ecology or one of the many historic sites including Snuneymuxw village sites, sandstone quarries, fish saltery sites, and coal mine sites
- Swim- at various locales around the island including sandy Kanaka Bay or Midden Bay, or pebble beaches at Brownie Bay and Mark Bay
- Replenish – refuel after a busy day exploring the Island at Q’uluc’tun Bistro located in the restored 1930s teahouse in the dance pavilion and enjoy a gourmet meal or hearty snack
- Celebrate – host your wedding or special event at the Pavilion and enjoy full services and amenities including meals by our executive red seal Chef for up to 220 people
A small foot passenger ferry leaves from downtown Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park daily May through September, running every 30 minutes. It’s a quick 10-minute ride to Newcastle Island. Private boats can visit year-round at the docks or tie up to one of Mark Bay’s many a mooring buoy.
Camping On Newcastle Island/Saysutshun
Camp at individual or group sites, or if arriving by boat, for a more intimate experience tie up to one of the many buoys or dock overnight with your friends at one of the lowest rates in the Harbour.
There are 18 walk-in tenting sites available, all just a short walk from the ferry. Camping services include potable water, hot showers, flush toilets, and food lockers. Campers should be mindful to lockup all food when they’re not using it, as there’s quite a large raccoon population on the island that are keen to dig into unattended snacks.
Getting To Newcastle Island | Saysutshun Ferry Schedule
Saysutshun is only accessible by boat or the small foot-passenger ferry. Kayaks or stand-up paddleboards, which are available for rent at Coastal Expression near the Departure Bay ferry, are another great option. Once on the island, trails can be experienced by foot or bicycle. Pets are welcome, but they must remain on a leash at all times.